Sunday, January 31, 2021

Missing Shows: Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, February 19, 1983

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

The WWE network's line up of Mid-Atlantic shows on their OTT network is sometimes a double-edge sword: while I love having the shows they put up, it hurts when they leave out key episodes in important storylines. 

Mid-Atlantic Wrestling  February 19, 1983

Now it goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that I'd rather have the shows they do put up than not have any of them at all. But one of most frustrating things about the situation is that it seems the missing shows fall out at often the worst time in the Mid-Atlantic historical timeline.

Such is the case with three weeks worth of missing shows in late February and early March of 1983, in the weeks leading up to the huge so-called "Final conflict" show in Greensboro on March 12, 1983 where Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood defeated Sgt. Slaughter and Don Kernodle in a steel cage match to win the NWA World Tag Team titles, and avoided the dissolution of their tag team partnership in the process. 

Likewise, there are two key shows missing in the build-up to the Brisco's famous heel-turn some weeks later in early May.  

Thanks to David Chappell's audio cassette recordings of these shows, we will be able to fill in the blanks in the week to week timeline, and they will be chroniocled here in our "Missing Shows" series. Plus, we've offered the folks over at the Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast the audio clips to include on their episodes covering shows not included on the WWE network. (This was first most successfully done on this special episode of the podcast covering week of 8/14/82.)

In this article below, I'll summarize some the key events that took place on the missing February 19, 1983 show in the lead-up to the "Final Conflict", including the big contract signing for the main event (those were relatively rare in those days) and a rare (and somewhat strange in retrospect) appearance by Ricky Morton in the WPCQ TV studio, shortly before the advent of the Rock and Roll Express.)

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 02/19/83
(taped 2/16/83 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
This program does not appear on the WWE Network.

FILM: Jimmy Valiant pins Terry Funk
Booker Dory Funk, Jr. brings in his brother Terry Funk as a quasi bounty hunter to try and eliminate Jimmy Valiant, who was chasing Dick Slater and the other members of the House of Humperdink. After the commercial break, Humperdink and crew continue to rant and rave about Valiant beating Funk when suddenly Valiant comes out of nowhere to attack Slater and throw him into the ring. Greg Valentine and One Man Gang quickly come to Slater's aid, and Slater and Valentine hold Valiant while the One Man Gang cuts his hair! It's eventually broken up by the surprise appearance of Bugsy McGraw, who has come to his "street brother's" aid. It was such a surprise, in fact, that Bob Caudle had no idea who he was.

Special Segment: The 'Final Conflict' Contract Signing
Recorded earlier in a conference room, NWA official Sandy Scott hosts a contract signing between the NWA World Tag Team Champions Sgt. Slaughter and Don Kernodle and their challengers Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood. The date and location of the climactic title match is announced (Saturday March 12, Greensboro) and the stipulation is announced that the match will take place within the confines of a steel cage. But Sarge and Kernodle have another stipulation to announce if Steamboat and Youngblood want them to sign for the match. If Steamboat and Youngblood don't win, they can never tag as a team again. This causes Steamboat and Youngblood to pause for a moment, but then they resolve their apprehension and the contracts are signed by all parties. 

I'm pretty sure the big cage match in Greensboro was never actually official billed or dubbed as The Final Conflict (unless it happened on local promos), it's just a name that has become associated with the event over the years. 

Special Live Segment: Steamboat & Youngblood bring out Guests
Steamboat and Youngblood celebrate the contract signing by bringing out and thanking two special guests who helped them get to this point.

First was Johnny Weaver, who had helped them train and dvelope negiotiating tactics to finally get this big match signed. 

But more notably, the second guest would be the person who had helped them torment Slaughter and Kernodle behind the scenes over the previous weeks, including the theft of Slaughters' iconic drill-sergeant hat and the engineering of the destruction of Kernodle's expensive sport coat (seen way back on the January 8th episode). It was revealed to be none other than Pvt. Jim Nelson, who had quietly and covertly been helping Steamboat and Youngblood annoy Slaughter and Kernodle.  


Gary Hart Recruits Mike Rotundo
Gary Hart announces he is in the process of recruiting Mike Rotundo to join his stable with Kabuki and the Magic Dragon. Hart does commentary during Rotundo's match with Ricky Harris. Hart is peeved that Rotundo hasn't given him the common courtesy of a reply yet. he says he is sure that he can instill the killer instinct in Rotundo. (I'd just settle for some enthusiasm in Rotundo's interviews!)

Ricky Morton makes his short-lived Mid-Atlantic Debut
One of the most disappointing aspects of this show not being on the WWE Network is not being able to see the exciting debut of young superstar Rick Morton (as he's called at this time) in the Mid-Atlantic area, and in the WPCQ studio. 

Morton's first appearance is on the losing end with partner Frank Monte against the duo of Dory Funk, Jr. and Dick Slater, managed by Paul Jones. Morton shines in this match, to the point that it annoys Jones, who is doing color commentary with Bob Caudle. 

When the tag match is over (originally scheduled to be the last match of the show) Funk and Jones are still so annoyed at Morton that they offer a special challenge match to which Morton quickly agrees. He and Funk go at it in a fast paced match with Paul Jones ranting and raving at ringside with Bob Caudle. Morton gets the majority of the offense in with quick arm-drags, and flying head-scissors and dropkicks. The match is still going on as time runs out in the show and the credits roll.

It certainly appears there were plans to develop Morton into something given the show-closing angle with Funk and Jones. But two weeks later he is in Memphis, teaming in successive weeks with Jim Dalton, Terry Taylor, and finally Robert Gibson. The team of the Rock and Roll Express was apparently born that night. Morton would not return until July of 1985, when he and Robert Gibson defeated the Russians to win the NWA World Tag Team titles on their first night in. And the rest is history. 


Other Notables:

  • Jim Nelson represents himself well in his special segment where he is revealed as Slaughter and Kernodle's saboteur, especially given he hasn't had much promo time at that point. It was a nice angle that sets up tag matches to fill time in house show slots in the weeks leading up to 3/12 in Greensboro featuring Weaver and nelson teaming uop to go against Slaughter and Kernodle. Nelson delivers a funny line about while Sarge and Kernodle were out eating steak, they had him getting his supper at the 7-11.
  • In Jack Brisco's halftime interview, he mentions Terry Funk being in, and that he and Jerry would love to fight the Funk Brothers. Not sure if the Briscos vs. Funks match took place in the ensuing weeks here or not, but the Funk brothers and the Brisco brothers each challenged Slaughter and Kernodle for the World Tag Team titles in the weeks leading up to the March 12 Final Conflict show.  I would have loved to see those matches.
  • During the Funk/Slater tag team match, Paul asks can you imagine if the Funk brothers and the Brisco brother faced each other in a match? Almost as if he had thought of this concept all by himself. It was one of the little things that made Paul hilarious during this early stint as a manager and color commentator.  

 

MATCHES: 
Arena Film: Terry Funk vs. Jimmy Valiant
Mike Rotundo vs. Ricky Harris
Dory Funk, Jr. & Dick Slater vs. Frank Monte & Ricky Morton
Dory Funk, Jr. vs. Ricky Morton (as time expires)

SPECIAL FEATURES
Contract Signing: Sandy Scott signs a Cage Match for the NWA World Tag Team Titles
Recogocnition: Steamboat and Youngblood thank Weaver and Nelson

CURRENT CHAMPIONS:
World Heavyweight Champion: Ric Flair
World Tag Team Champions: Sgt. Slaughter and Don Kernodle
United States Champion: Greg Valentine
Mid-Atlantic Champion: Dory Funk, Jr.
Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Champions: Vacant
NWA TV Champion: Dick Slater

* * * * * * *

SHOW SUMMARY
In the same general format as the summaries in our TV & Podcast Section.

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 02/19/83

(taped 2/16/83 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
This program does not appear on the WWE Network.

FILM: Jimmy Valiant pins Terry Funk in Charlotte
Interview - Sir Oliver Humperdink, Dick Slater

[Break]

Confrontation: Jimmy Valiant jumps Dick Slater, who is saved by Greg Valentine, One Man Gang. Slater and Valentine hold Boogie while One Man Gang cuts his hair. Valiant is saved by Bugsy McGraw (and Bob has no idea who he is at first.)

[Break]

Local Promos

[Break]

[VCR] Contract signing: Slaughter/Kernodle and Steamboat/Youngblood hosted by Sandy Scott

Interview - Steamboat & Youngblood they bring out Johnny Weaver and Pvt. Jim Nelson

[Break]

Halftime Interviews: Mike Rotundo (TV Champion), Jack Brisco

[Break]

Interview - Gary Hart

Match #1
Mike Rotundo pins Ricky Harris
guest commentary by Gary Hart

[Break]

Local Promos

[Break]

Paul Jones joins Bob Caudle on commentary.

Match #2
Dory Funk, Jr./Dick Slater defeat Frank Monte/Rick Morton 


Interview - Slaughter, Kernodle

Match #3
Special challenge match: Dory Funk, Jr. vs. Rick Morton (Show ends with match in progress.)

Friday, January 29, 2021

Action Figures Friday: Magnum and Dusty in Fur Coats!


Who can forget Dusty Rhodes and Magnum T.A. walking out on Superstation WTBS to interview with Tony Schiavone wearing those big fur coats? It was on World Championship Wrestling back on December 14, 1985, and that nutty moment is still talked about today (and lives on the WWE Network.) 

"I don't believe there is any explanation for this right here," Dusty said to Schiavone. "We was on the JCP private sports plane...I mean, you can go all over the world and not see nuthin' as bad as this."

From the creative mind of Jeff Jewett comes this action figures staging of America's Team with custom made min-furs. Excellent job, and great memories!

The entire 12/14/85 show is available on the WWE Network.  

Here is the interview on YouTube:


 

* * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Action Figures Friday" makes random appearances here on the Gateway. It all began with Mike Simmerman's amazing collection of custom figures staged in an even more amazing custom mini-studio based on WRAL in Raleigh in the 1970s and early 1980s. There have been other contributors including Jeff Jewett, Scottie Richardson, Matty Montcalm, Barry Hatchet, and others. 

You can filter posts with the Action Figures tag and see all the previous posts for Action Figures Friday.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Mid-Atlantic TV Report: May 15, 1983

Mid-Atlantic Wrestling on
the WWE Network

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
TV Summaries & Reviews
by David Taub
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

This is a review of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling as it appeared on the WWE Network. Results are included for the week (Monday-Sunday of the given week) as available. Please email with any corrections, typos, results, other details at 1davidtaub@gmail.com. Follow @TaubGVWire

For links to all available summaries as well as links to the Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast, visit our TV Summary Index.


Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 05/014/83
(taped 5/11/83 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
This program does not appear on the WWE Network



Unfortunately, WWE Network skips this week again. Here are the abstract results:
Great Kabuki & Magic Dragon d. Rick McCord & Keith Larson
From World Wide Wrestling: World tag team championship: Rick Steamboat & Jay Youngblood [ch.] d. Jack & Jerry Brisco by DQ; Ron West
Mike Rotundo & Rufus R. Jones d. Dory Funk, Jr. & Jake Roberts

A week after refusing, Steamboat & Youngblood met the Briscos’ challenge. And, like their match three weeks prior, Jerry had the Figure Four on Steamboat. Youngblood tried to make the save. As referee Ron West put him out of the ring, Jack dived on Steamboat’s trapped knee. The referee called for the DQ.

***********************************

Results for the week, 5/09/83-5/15/83
(source: Clawmaster’s Archive via Sports and Wrestling blog posted by David Baker; “Wrestling” newsletter by Joe Shedlock)


Mon., 5/09/83 Greenville, SC; Memorial Auditorium
Bill White vs. Vinnie Valentino
Jim Nelson vs. Tommy Lane
Dory Funk, Jr. & Jake Roberts beat Mike Rotundo & Johnny Weaver
One Man Gang d. Jos LeDuc
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood DCO Jack & Jerry Brisco

Tue., 5/10/83 Columbia, SC; Township Auditorium
Kelly Kiniski d. Keith Larson
Magic Dragon d. Mark Fleming
Jim Nelson d. Sgt. Jacques Goulet
Jimmy Valiant d. Great Kabuki
Greg Valentine d. Bugsy McGraw
Jos LeDuc d. One Man Gang

Wed., 5/11/83 Charlotte, NC; WPCQ-TV studio

Thu., 5/12/83 Norfolk, VA
Gene Anderson d. Rick McCord
Magic Dragon d. Keith Larsen
Greg Valentine & Johnny Weaver
Mike Rotundo & Rufus R. Jones d. Dory Funk, Jr. & Jake Roberts
Jimmy Valant d. Great Kabuki
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood d. Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco

Fri., 5/13/83 Charleston SC; County Hall
One Man Gang beat Jos LeDuc
Jimmy Valiant & Bugsy McGraw beat Great Kabuki & Magic Dragon
Rufus R. Jones beat Larry Cheatham
Kelly Kiniski beat Abe Jacobs
Vinnie Valentino beat Ken Timbs

Sat., 5/14/83 Roanoke, VA; Roanoke Civic Center
World tag team championship: Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood NC Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco
Dory Funk, Jr. & Jake Roberts beat Johnny Weaver & Mike Rotundo
Nelson Royal beat Ron Cheatham
Keith Larson beat Jack Brown
Ric McCord beat Bill White
Ricky Harris beat Ken Timbs 

Sat., 5/14/83 Wilmington, NC; Legion Stadium
Masa Fuchi vs. Abe Jacobs
Ken Timbs vs. Wayne Jones
Gene Adnerson vs. Vinnie Valentino
Jos LeDuc vs. One Man Gang
Bugsy McGraw & Rufus R. Jones vs. Kabuki & Magic Dragon
Greg Valentine vs. Jimmy Valiant

Sun., 5/15/83 Charlotte, NC; Charlotte Coliseum
Kelly Kiniski & One Man Gang beat Rick McCord & Vinnie Valentino
Dory Funk, Jr. beat Mike Rotundo
Jimmy Valiant, Rufus R. Jones & Bugsy McGraw beat Great Kabuki, Gary Hart & Magic Dragon
Greg Valentine beat Jos LeDuc
Round robin tournament: Sgt. Slaughter & Don Kernodle d. Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood
Round robin tournament: Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco beat Sgt. Slaughter & Don Kernodle
Round robin tournament: Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood d. Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco
Round robin tournament: Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Sgt. Slaughter & Don Kernodle
Round robin tournament, final: Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco beat Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood by DQ in finals of round robin tournament

Sun., 5/15/83 Asheville, NC
Bill White beat Ken Timbs
Kelly Kiniski beat Abe Jacobs
Jos LeDuc & Rufus R. Jones beat Kelly Kiniski & One Man Gang
Dory Funk, Jr. beat Mike Rotundo
Greg Valentine beat Bugsy McGraw
Jack & Jerry Brisco beat Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood

Sun.; 5/15/83 Toronto, Ontario; Maple Leaf Gardens
Bob Marcus beat Ricky Harris (9:21)
Iron Mike Sharpe beat Joe Marcus (8:09)
Gene Kiniski & The Executioner beat Salvatore Bellomo & Nick DeCarlo (15:04)
Jim Nelson beat Keith Larson (14:06) via pinfall
Johnny Weaver beat Leo Burke (18:52)
Rocky Johnson beat Don Muraco (11:21) by countout
Roddy Piper beat Terry Funk (11:14) by countout
Angelo Mosca beat Bob Orton, Jr. (10:12 )

Monday, January 25, 2021

Do It With Flair (Revisited)

In 1985, Jim Crockett Promotions released their first line of commercial merchandise that was based on their wrestlers. They previously had released some event-related t-shirts, but none directly related to the wrestlers themselves. These were sold at the live events as well as through mail order.

Ric Flair's first shirt was a classic. The phrase "I do It With Flair" was boldly emblazoned in sparkling gold on the front of a royal blue t-shirt. This particular shirt was only available for a short period of time in late 1985 and early 1986.

Thirty years later, in 2015, Ric's daughter Ashley, working under the name Charlotte Flair in the WWE, featured a very cool shirt that was a variation on that same theme.

Charlotte's shirt had a two-sided message. On the front it said  "If you're gonna do it..." and then the back says "Do it with Flair."

What an awesome tribute to her Dad and a long forgotten piece of memorabilia from the Crockett days.

We love it!

WWE/NXT Superstar Charlotte Flair in 2015

(The shirt is no longer available at WWEShop.com.)


Edited from an original article published June 16, 2015 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

An Introduction Fit for a 'Superstar' (Part Two)

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Catch up on Part One.


PART TWO
Fans of the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television program were introduced to the “Superstar” for the first time at the beginning of the show that was taped on September 29, 1976. Later in the broadcast, the Superstar and his cane-carrying manager Boris Malenko were unexpectedly confronted in a way that drew the ire of the masked newcomer.

Prof. Boris Malenko
with the Masked Superstar

Starting the interview that ran during the middle of the show, host Bob Caudle began, “Here is Boris Malenko with his new star, Superstar, and Malenko things must really be changing for you as you look quite a bit different from last time we saw you.” Malenko replied, “You have to spend money to make money, and talking about spending money, it cost me a fortune but it’s worth it. Every single penny that I’ve spent is worth it because what’s cheap at the beginning is costly in the end run…I’ve found that out all too often in the past.”

After his clear dig at the team of the Mongols who he had previously managed, Boris continued, “Now let me just say this, and I want you people to pay close attention. I’ve looked to the four corners of the earth for such a person as my Superstar. Where did I find him? Right here in the United States as I said before. Never has a man with such credentials come forth to you people in the Mid-Atlantic area. Can you imagine, can you imagine a former gold medal winner of the Olympics? A man that holds a ‘docrtine’ degree in two situations…psychology and also neurology? Now, what else can you ask for? This in itself, this is the ingredients itself…wrestling is a mind situation also. When it comes to mind and equipment that he has…”

Interrupting Malenko’s rant at this juncture was none other than the president of Jim Crockett Promotions, Jim Crockett, Jr. Crockett explained, “I hate to interrupt, but I just talked to Eddie Graham, President of the National Wrestling Alliance. Mr. Malenko, you’ve been here for several months, you’ve wrestled…as far as we know you have no physical ailment at all, and Eddie Graham has ruled that you will not be allowed to carry a cane in a TV studio or an arena where there’s a wrestling match being held. Thank you very much.”

A wide-eyed Caudle could only then say amazingly, “Oh my!”

A clearly riled up Superstar immediately addressed the exiting Jim Crockett, “Excuse me Mr. Crockett. You have the audacity, the unmitigated gall, to approach my associate here Boris Malenko. Now, these are some of the incidents that Mr. Malenko has warned me of before I came into this particular area. Time and time again, he said he’s been insulted, embarrassed in front of the public. I’m here for one purpose and one purpose only and that’s to reestablish the credentials of Mr. Boris Malenko…and, I’m going to do that.”

Caudle followed up to Malenko, “I tell you, he has some great credentials to live up to after what you’ve said about him and he’s gonna have some really tough competition I’m sure he must know that.”

Malenko concluded, “When Superstar talks it puts a chill up and down your spine because what he says is the truth, it’s spoken from his heart. What he says he means, because I know I have an understanding with him that’s beyond anything else and he’ll not only show it, but he’ll prove it!”

Having the President of Jim Crockett Promotions making an exceedingly rare on-air appearance reinforced that this masked newcomer was indeed a high-end talent that was coming into the territory right at the top of the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling hierarchy. Add that to all the platitudes that Boris Malenko heaped on his new charge, and this was undoubtedly an introduction that was fit for a Superstar!

 

Bob & Jackie Caudle

Happy Anniversary to the sweetest couple we know.
Sending all our love, respect, and best wishes.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Another Trophy for the Anderson Family Trophy Case

With the University of Alabama winning the National Championship in football again this year, I thought I'd re-post one of my personal favorite articles written for the Gateway from back in 2016. That year, a member of the Anderson family added another championship to the Anderson family trophy case.


* * * * * * * *

ANOTHER IN THE LONG LINE OF ANDERSON CHAMPIONSHIPS
by Dick Bourne

Mid-Atlantic Gatewayhttp://www.collegefootballplayoff.com/

Championships come in many forms.  But you normally wouldn't think of the College Football National Championship when you think of Anderson family championships.

Mid-Atlantic and Georgia tag team titles? Certainly. NWA World Tag Team championships? Most definitely. But a college football national championship?

Well, yes indeed.

Add the 2015-2016 National College Football Playoff title to the long and storied list of Anderson family championships.

Gene Anderson
Pro-wrestling legend Gene Anderson, head of the famous Anderson wrestling family and founder of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew, died of a heart attack in 1991 at the age of 52 -- way too young -- and several years before his son Brad's three boys would be born. 

He would have been proud of all of his grandson's various accomplishments in school and athletics, but he would have been extremely proud of one particular recent accomplishment.

Blaine Anderson, the oldest son of Gene's only son Brad Anderson, was a high school football standout at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, NC. After graduation, he left home to attend college at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and probably felt his football days were behind him.

But his desire to play football, a sport he truly loved, continued to gnaw at him. And so Blaine Anderson worked up the courage to do something most would never have the guts to even consider: walk-on at one of the top college football programs in the nation, a team that has its pick of the best high school players in the country. What were the odds, one might reasonably ask. The Alabama Crimson Tide is arguably one of the two or three most storied programs in all of college football history.

Blaine tried out his sophomore year. "The day before school started I found out I didn’t make the final roster," he told Rick Bonnell in the Charlotte Observer. But Blaine's's ability and determination had apparently caught the eye of someone in the program. "My junior summer I was told they wanted me back if I still wanted to come back."

He did, and this time Blaine made the team.

"It took a lot of willpower not to quit with all the running and conditioning," he told the Charlotte Observer. Yet he persevered.

His contributions as a defensive back were mainly on the scout team. But anyone in football will tell you what a critical role those on the scout team play in a team's preparation for their next opponent, especially when your team is gunning for a national championship. Blaine did so well in that role, he dressed for four of Alabama's home games in his senior year, as well as the two college football national championship playoff games against Michigan State and Clemson. Members of the scout team don't always get to dress for games. So it was a particular honor to be chosen to dress for the two games in the National Championship play-off.

Blaine's resolve and hard work earned him further recognition from his coaches and teammates. It even earned him a championship belt. And as you know, championship belts are something very familiar to Andersons. 

Blaine won the "Ball Out" award three times in training camp, a special team award given to the outstanding defensive player of the week. That recognition went along with a custom championship belt he would hold until the next time it was awarded.

Championship belts. Anderson tradition.

Blaine's high school friends and teammates back home in Charlotte were happy to read about him in the hometown newspaper the week leading up to the National Championship playoff game between Clemson and Alabama.

But many of those friends were not aware he had a famous grandfather in professional wrestling, a grandfather that established a wrestling dynasty, and a grandfather Blaine never got to meet. But Blaine knew of the stories of Gene and Ole Anderson, their tag team championships, and the legendary history of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew.

Blaine's father Brad, himself once a pro-wrestler, instilled in him such a degree of pride in the Anderson wrestling tradition that Blaine had the image of his grandfather's wrestling boots tattooed on his left shoulder. And not just any boots. These were the famous maroon-and-gold striped boots that were a trademark of the Anderson tag-team. All the Andersons -- Gene, Lars, Ole, Arn,  - - were famous for wearing those boots.

Anderson boots. Anderson tradition. 

On Monday night, January 11, 2016, the University of Alabama Crimson Tide squared off against the Tigers of Clemson University with college football's top prize at stake.

One fall. Sixty minute time limit.

The Crimson Tide prevailed in a tough battle and hoisted the national championship trophy, its fourth national title in 7 years.

"I can't begin to describe how proud and excited I am," Blaine's father Brad wrote me recently in a hand-written letter. "My Dad would be beside himself. He never missed any of my sports games, and definitely would be screaming from the mountain top that his grandson was a national champion." 

And now with a national championship ring on his finger, the third generation of the Anderson family had just added one more championship to the Anderson family trophy case.

Roll Tide. 


Blaine Anderson (41) of the National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide
(Screen capture from the ESPN broadcast.)

Blaine Anderson (middle) with his brothers Forrest and Carter. 
The New Wrecking Crew?
 
 
Edited from an earlier post originally published January 27, 2016
on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

 
 
http://amzn.com/1475133278

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Mid-Atlantic TV Report: May 7, 1983

Mid-Atlantic Wrestling on
the WWE Network

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
TV Summaries & Reviews
by David Taub
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

This is a review of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling as it appeared on the WWE Network. Results are included for the week (Monday-Sunday of the given week) as available. Please email with any corrections, typos, results, other details at 1davidtaub@gmail.com. Follow @TaubGVWire

For links to all available summaries as well as links to the Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast, visit our TV Summary Index.


Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 05/07/83
(taped 5/04/83 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
This program does not appear on the WWE Network

Unfortunately, WWE Network skips this week. Here are the abstract results:

  • Mike Rotundo & Rufus R. Jones d. Bill White & Ken Timbs
  • Jos LeDuc d. Snake Brown
  • Dory Funk, Jr. & Jake Roberts d. Jim Nelson & Vinnie Valentino
  • Great Kabuki & Magic Dragon d. Johnny Weaver & Abe Jacobs
  • Jimmy Valiant & Bugsy McGraw d. Masa Fuchi & Ben Alexander


During the week, LeDuc won the TV title 4/30/83 in Richmond in a lumberjack match. That same night, Youngblood & Slaughter lost the cage match, loser-must-split-up final confrontation title match. 

The following day, Greg Valentine regained the U.S. championship from Roddy Piper in Greensboro, when he hit him in the ear with the title belt. NWA representative Sandy Scott stopped the bout, and awarded the championship to Valentine, even though Piper said he could continue.

On TV, the Briscos demanded another match against Steamboat & Youngblood. According to Joe Shedlock’s “Wrestling,” Steamboat & Youngblood opted out, citing their tough encounter with Slaughter & Kernodle.

Meanwhile, on World Wide Wrestling this week, Dick Slater took on new TV champion Jos LeDuc. Valentine interfered for the DQ. Johnny Weaver came out to break things up, only for Slater to piledrive him on the floor. Scott then suspended Slater for 30 days. Conveniently, Slater would embark on a long tour in All Japan Pro Wrestling (and even teaming with Roddy Piper!).

* * * * 

Results for the week, 5/02/83-5/08/83
(source: Clawmaster’s Archive via Sports and Wrestling blog posted by David Baker; “Wrestling” newsletter by Joe Shedlock)

Mon., 5/02/83 Greenville, SC; Memorial Auditorium
Magic Dragon beat Mike Davis
Kelly Kiniski beat Keith Larson
Mike Rotundo beat Jake Roberts
Greg Valentine beat Rufus R. Jones
Jimmy Valiant beat Great Kabuki
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood DCO Jack & Jerry Brisco 

Tue., 5/03/83 Columbia, SC; Township Auditorium
Wayne Jones & Mike Davis d. Masa Fuchi & Bill White
Gene Anderson d. Abe Jacobs
Mike Rotundo d. Rick Harris
Jimmy Valiant & Bugsy McGraw d. Kabuki & Magic Dragon
One Man Gang d. Jose LeDuc

Tue., 5/03/83 Raleigh, NC; Raleigh Civic Center
Vinnie Valentino beat Ken Timbs
Kelly Kiniski beat Keith Larson
Don Kernodle beat Jim Nelson in a boot camp match
Johnny Weaver beat Dick Slater by DQ
Greg Valentine beat Rufus R. Jones
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood DCO Jack & Jerry Brisco

Wed., 5/04/83 Charlotte, NC; WPCQ-TV studi

Thu., 5/05/83 Sumter, SC
Abe Jacobs d. Masa Fuchi (Jacobs sub for Wayne Jones)
Rufus R. Jones vs. Ricky Harris
Mike Rotundo -draw- Jake Roberts
One Man Gang d. Jos LeDuc by DQ
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood d. Greg Valentine & Dick Slater

Fri., 5/06/83 Charleston, SC; County Hall
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Greg Valentine & Dick Slater
Nelson Royal beat Jake Roberts
Liz Chase & Susan Starr beat Donna Christianello & Leilani Kai
Ricky Harris beat Vinnie Valentino 

Fri., 5/06/83 Lenoir, SC
Ben Alexander d. Mike Davis
Masa Fuchi d. Abe Jacobs
Mike Rotundo -draw- Johnny Weaver
Jimmy Valiant & Jos LeDuc & Bugsy McGraw d. One Man Gang & Gene Anderson & Sir Oliver Humperdink

Sat., 5/07/83 Hampton, VA
Rufus R. Jones & Jimmy Valiant beat Great Kabuki, Magic Dragon & Gary Hart in a handicap match
Dory Funk, Jr. & Jake Roberts beat Dick Slater & Greg Valentine
One Man Gang beat Jos Leduc
Bugsy McGraw beat Bill White
Keith Larson beat Ken Timbs

Sun., 5/08/83 Savannah, GA
Tournament for World tag team championship match
First round: Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco d. One Man Gang & Kelly Kiniski
First round: Great Kabuki & Magic Dragon d. Jimmy Valiant & Bugsy McGraw
First round: Mike Rotundo & Rufus R. Jones d. Greg Valentine & Gene Anderson
First round: Dory Funk. Jr. & Jake Roberts d. Johnny Weaver & Nelson Royal
Semifinal round: Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco d. Great Kabuki & Magic Dragon
Semifinal round: Dory Funk. Jr. & Jake Roberts d. Mike Rotundo & Rufus R. Jones
Final: Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco d. Dory Funk. Jr. & Jake Roberts 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Pete Apostolou and Roanoke Wrestling

Pete Apostolou promoted many wrestling matches in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, both on Saturday afternoon TV shows on WDBJ-TV (Channel 7) and in live evening venues such as the old American Legion Auditorium, Legion Stadium, and Starland Arena, seen here. (Roanoke Times Photo)


The following is an edited from a much larger article from the Roanoke Times by Ray Cox, originally published March 11, 2018. We extracted info about longtime Roanoke promoter Pete Apostolou for historical purposes, fleshing out some great detail about the old TV tapings that took place at WDBJ channel 7 in Roanoke.  Take time to read Cox's entire article on the Roanoke.com website here.
 

Professional wrestling has a rich history going back many decades from coast to coast, up into Canada and down into Mexico. A fondly recalled footnote involved the many Star City bouts promoted by Pete Apostolou on behalf of Jim Crockett Promotions.

WDBJ-TV (Channel 7) carried live studio wrestling Saturday afternoons from 1957-67. Early years of the show were staged on the second floor of the offices that still serve The Roanoke Times. Beloved WDBJ weatherman Hal Grant handled ringside blow-by-blow and post-match interviews. Apostolou was the color man. [The shows] were usually preludes to live evening bouts at venues such as the old American Legion Auditorium. More on the Bolos in a minute.

Eventually, in 1965 Apostolou bought an old bowling alley between Salem Turnpike and Shenandoah Avenue, dubbed it the Starland Arena, and continued Saturday night shows there. Apostolou thus had “the perfect set-up where the guys could come in and do the live ‘All Star Wrestling’ TV and the Starland Arena show all within hours of each other,” wrote Dick Bourne at Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Another perfect setup for these weekend productions was that the touring grapplers would stay at the former Ponce De Leon Hotel on downtown Roanoke’s Campbell Avenue, right across 2nd Street from the Times-World building. Thus the beefy stars of the Saturday beating and banging matinees could wake up from their naps and walk to work.

Retired Roanoke newspaperman Bob Adams recalled the bad old days of Campbell Avenue head-busting. “The wrestlers would come up to the third floor rest room, which used to be right next to the sports department, to use as a dressing room,” Adams said. “On the second floor, they hated each other. They’d come up to the third floor, and be laughing and talking.”

Apostolou would take down the results of the bouts and bring them up to the sports desk, where editor Bill Brill, moonlighting as a publicist, would write up the press release, Adams said. At other times, one wrestling magazine or another would call into the sports department for results. Peeved copy editors, with regular newspaper deadlines looming, were as likely to make something up as give an accurate report, Adams remembered.

* * * * * * * 

Here is the link to the original story on the Roanoke.com website which includes greater detail, plus references to Jimmy "Boogie Man" Valiant and a deep dive into the Bolos via Gateway contributor Mike Cline. Great stuff from Ray Cox! (And thanks for mentioning the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.)

WOYM: Who were those masked wrestlers of the early days of Roanoke television?
By Ray Cox | Special to The Roanoke Times Mar 11, 2018 

https://www.roanoke.com/news/woym-who-were-those-masked-wrestlers-of-the-early-days/article_ae4cf29e-59f6-593b-bf1f-31051e4c65cc.html

Thanks to Kyle Rosser for making us aware of this particular column.

This Gateway article was originally published on the Studio Wrestling website, a part of the Mid-Atlantic Gateway family of websites. 

Friday, January 15, 2021

The Final Show at WPCQ Studio in Charlotte (1983)

A series of posts about our favorite episodes available for streaming on the WWE Network
by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway


Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
WWE Network Data: First Airdate Saturday July 2, 1983
(Taped Wed. June 29, 1983) [WWE Network Link]

United States Heavyweight Champion Greg Valentine

FINAL SHOW AT WPCQ STUDIO
This show would be the very last taping at WPCQ studios in Charlotte, and the last time Mid-Atlantic and World Wide Wrestling would ever be taped in a studio setting. Jim Crockett Promotions had moved their TV production to these cramped quarters two years earlier, moving from WRAL in Raleigh when that station needed the studio every night for their locally produced insert-segments of the new show "PM Magazine."

WPCQ was a real step down in production quality for the programs with noticeable declines in the quality of video and audio during this time. Additionally, and most noticeably, the studio was too small, and the ring had to be turned catty-cornered in order to have room for Bob Caudle's set, as well as the cameras and production crew.

So the move of TV production out into the arenas was a welcome development, although I love the old studio settings by and large, and miss that era. But there wasn't a Saturday that at some point during a show from WPCQ that I didn't think to myself, boy, do I miss WRAL.

They certainly went out with a bang as this episode was a ton of fun, particularly due to the work of Jerry Brisco on the mic as one of the most annoyingly cocky heels ever. His performance, along with brother Jack, is just masterful.


The Briscos confront Ricky Steamboat

THE BRISCOS
This episode is a showcase for the Brisco brothers as heels.  Jerry calls it "The Brisco Brothers Hour." Jack and Jerry are basking in the glow of their victory over Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood for the NWA World Tag Team titles, and are really rubbing it in. The Briscos are on my list of all-time favorite tag teams, largely due to their work in this area as heels in 1983.

During this episode they get in the face of Mike Rotundo at the opening of the show, and later provoke Ricky Steamboat to lose his temper, although Jerry came out on the wrong end of that as Steamboat knocks him out cold!

The Briscos wrestle Keith Larson (aka Wally "Rocky" Kernodle) and Rick McCord on this show in what can only be called a scientific wrestling clinic. As part of their heel personas, the Briscos were always out to prove they were superior technical wrestlers and they just have their way with Larson and McCord who, by the way, were two of the more talented undercard/mid-card wrestlers to ever work the territory.



Rufus R. Jones defends the honor of the winner of Paul Jones's picture.


PAUL JONES GIVES AWAY HIS PICTURE

For about six weeks leading up to this show, manager Paul Jones has been conducting a contest where the winner will receive a huge, oversized poster of Paul in a Tuxedo. The big poster has been on display for weeks and provided some hilarious moments over that time as Paul talked weekly with Bob Caudle about the contest. This week, he finally awards the photo to the contest winner at the end of the show. Paul is very rude to her and Rufus R. Jones comes out to defend the honor of the contest winner. Paul and the two wrestlers he manages, Dory Funk, Jr. and Jake "The Snake" Roberts, beat up Rufus in the ring as the credits roll at the end of the show.


DORY FUNK, JR.'s LOVE AFFAIR WITH MIKE ROTUNDO
One thing is clear re-watching these late 1982 and early-to-mid 1983 episodes: booker Dory Funk, Jr. was in love with Mike Rotundo. There can be no other way to describe it. No other wrestler during this time period got more exposure in the ring, on interviews, and doing color commentary on TV than the mid-card All-American from Syracuse.

This week, Rotundo is the color commentator with host Bob Caudle. As great a performer as Rotundo would prove to be in the ring, he was just as bad on the mic during this early part of his career. Rotundo definitely got his groove going and developed a personality in 1988 when he was a heel in the Varsity Club and was playing off goofy, lovable babyface Rick Steiner. But in 1983 he was as green, dry, and dull as you could possibly imagine. But Dory was intent on giving Rotundo ample opportunities to improve. And this was one of them, doing color commentary the entire program. I actually love Rotundo's work in the ring. But this was painful. Somehow, it did not detract from me enjoying this awesome episode, though, and I hope it won't for you, either.


THE LOCAL PROMO SPOTS
Most of these episodes on the WWE Netowrk do not include the local promotional spots that were some of the most entertaining parts of the programs back in the day. Those localized interviews were recorded during the day prior to the taping of the shows and then inserted into the tape that went out to the various market stations. Since these archived episodes don't have the local promos, they include a "live" studio interview taped right along as the main program was being taped. For much of late 1982 and 1983, these segments were largely aimed at the Florida territory. The Mid-Atlantic show was seen on a few select stations throughout Florida and so the guys being interviewed would aim many of their comments towards the wrestlers in Florida. Fans in the Mid-Atlantic area would not see these interviews; they were seeing their local promotional spots at that moment.

A good example of these is the interview Dick Slater does in the second promotional spot location. Slater directly addresses Dusty Rhodes (at that time a regular in Florida, and also the booker of the territory) and tells him he might be the American Dream and the Midnight Cowboy (a reference to Dusty working as the Midnight Rider) but he will never be the Errol Flynn of wrestling!


TIDBITS:
  • Interesting to see a very young Joel Deaton on this show. Deaton would later wrestle under a mask as "Thunderfoot" managed by James J. Dillon in 1985. He would work several smaller southern territories in the late 1980s before making a name for himself in the 1990s in Japan. I always liked Deaton's work in the ring.
  • Greg Valentine methodically works over John Bonello in an entertaining opening match.
  • Roddy Piper mentions he has a new partner "Mr. T" - - and then pulls out a tire iron. I did do a double-take when he said that though, thinking about where Piper would be less than two years later with the real Mr. T at the first Wrestlemania.
  • During Dick Slater's match, Bob Caudle mentions that the Assassins are coming into the area soon, and that one of them is reportedly the son of the Great Bolo. This would turn out to be the new Assassin #2, which later turned out to be Hercules Hernandez under the mask. They played up the Great Bolo son angle for several months. The Great Bolo was a huge star for Jim Crockett promotions in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and it's cool that they were calling back that far into their history.
  • Harley Race makes it clear he doesn't want to wrestle Flair anymore, and claims Flair was a "fluke" champion since all he really did was slip past a "fat man" to win the title. This was a shot (a "rib on the square" as Steve Austin is famous for saying) at the wrestler Flair beat for the NWA title, Dusty Rhodes.
  • Flair, Piper, and Race all appeared in pre-taped interviews from the brand new make-shift studio at the main office building of Jim Crockett Promotions on Briarbend Drive. The studio was established as the location for taping the local interviews that would be inserted to the syndicated programs. The interviews had previously been taped at the WPCQ studios prior to the taping of the shows. But with the move out to the arenas to begin next week, JCP needed a spot to record the shows, and so they set up a make-shift studio at the Briarbend offices.
  • Wahoo McDaniel does his famous war dance and tomahawk chop (Bob Caudle affectionately called it the "tommy-hawk" chop over the years) before defeating the Magic Dragon. Considered by most to be politically incorrect today, that war dance and chop was one of the things that made Wahoo so exciting and so special to me when I first started watching wrestling.

CHAMPIONS ROLL CALL
NWA World Champion: Harley Race
NWA World Tag Champions: Jack & Jerry Brisco
United States Champion: Greg Valentine
Mid-Atlantic Champion: Dory Funk, Jr.
NWA TV Champion: The Great Kabuki

STUDIO MATCHES ON THIS PROGRAM
[1] Greg Valentine (US Champion) vs. John Bonello
[2] The Briscos (NWA Tag Champs) vs. Keith Larson / Rick McCord
[3] Jimmy Valiant & Bob Orton Jr. vs. Bill Howard & Joel Deaton
[4] Dick Slater vs. Vinnie Valentino
[5] Dory Funk Jr. (Mid-Atlantic Champ) & Jake Roberts vs. Bret Hart & Mike Davis


FILMED MATCHES FROM THE ARENA:
Wahoo McDaniel vs. The Magic Dragon (with Gary Hart)




INTERVIEWS
Jack and Jerry Brisco
Ric Flair and Roddy Piper (pre-taped at the Briarbend Drive studio)
Mike Rotundo
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood
Harley Race (pre-taped at the Briarbend Drive studio)
Dick Slater
Paul Jones (with Jake Roberts and Dory Funk, Jr.)

http://network.wwe.com/shows/vault/mid-atlantic

WWE NETWORK
FREE MONTH FOR NEW SUBSCRIBERS!
Check out all of the Mid-Atlantic episodes currently available!

MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP PODCAST
Don't miss this great podcast, hosted by Mike Sempervive and Roman Gomez, as they look back at classic early 80s episodes of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling as seen on the WWE Network.
 
MID-ATLANTIC TV REPORT AND SUMMARIES
David Taub reviews and summarizes all the episodes of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling airing on the WWE Netowrk. Visit our TV Report & Podcast page for links to all the shows.


Edited from a story originally posted January 30, 2018 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway. 


http://bookstore.midatlanticgateway.com

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Seeking More Information on Jay "Dude" Walker

WWE Network Screen Grab

Updated Saturday 1/16/21

We're looking for more information on this fellow appearing with Bob Caudle and Gordon Solie on the Starrcade '83 closed-circuit extravaganza from Thanksgiving night 1983.

His working name on FM radio was apparently Dude Walker. He was a drive-time DJ for G-105 FM (WDCG), a top-40 radio powerhouse out of the Raleigh-Durham area in 1983. (Edit: WDCG originally stood for "Durham's Country Giant.")

Between early matches during the Starrcade '83 closed-circuit telecast, Bob introduced Dude to the audience and asked him what he thought about Ric Flair. Dude said he believed Flair would take the title from Harley Race that night since Flair was in his home area, and indicated that everyone at G-105 was behind the Nature Boy.

But of more interest to us is the fact that Dude also briefly hosted some of the local promo interviews for Jim Crockett Promotions in the fall of 1983 and in 1984 that were taped at the makeshift garage studio on Briarbend Drive in Charlotte, although Tony Schiavone was still doing them at the time, too. But that  stint makes him part of the historical roster of announcers in the Crockett studio era. (Edit: In some 1984 promo segments, wrestlers referred to him as Jay. So possibly his name was Jay Walker.)

We googled Dude Walker and came across several radio personalities with that name, which apparently must have been a thing in radio. Who knew? But none of them were our guy.

Edit: Of note to point out, Gateway visitor Travis Tarrant recalls that in late 1982 and early 1983, G-105 would interview a few wrestlers after the matches had finished at the Raleigh Civic Center. It may have been Dude Walker conducting those interviews.

If you have any information on Jay/Dude Walker, we'd love to know more about him. You can contact us via the Contact Page on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.



Some interesting tidbits about G-105 FM and why there may have been a tie-in with Jim Crockett Promotions during Starrcade '83: 

They have had several formats over the decades including country and rock, but became a top-40 station in 1981 1978 and became a 100,000 watt powerhouse in 1982 when they began transmitting on the WRDU-TV tower in Chatham County. 

They were one of the first stations in their market to operate a dual-city license with their primary market being Raleigh-Durham, but also with a special signal going into the Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem market. During this era of the first Starrcade, they were one of the most powerful and popular radio stations in central NC and the Piedmont. 

This may have been why they partnered with JCP to promote the first Starrcade, given their reach and popularity across the immediate area around Greensboro.

They are still around, a top-40 iHeart radio station based out of Raleigh and licensed out of Durham, NC.

If you have any information on Jay/Dude Walker, we'd love to know more about him. You can contact us via the Contact Page on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Thanks to those who have provided additional information, including Joe DiGiacomo and Travis Tarrant.

This article is edited from an original post on the Studio Wrestling site (part of the Mid-Atlantic Gateway family of websites) on January 11, 2021.

Mid-Atlantic TV Report: April 30, 1983

Mid-Atlantic Wrestling on
the WWE Network

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
TV Summaries & Reviews
by David Taub
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

This is a review of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling as it appeared on the WWE Network. Results are included for the week (Monday-Sunday of the given week) as available. Please email with any corrections, typos, results, other details at 1davidtaub@gmail.com. Follow @TaubGVWire

For links to all available summaries as well as links to the Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast, visit our TV Summary Index.


Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 04/30/83
(taped 04/27/83 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network Direct Link to this show Mid-Atlantic 04/30/83
WWE Network feed.   [How to watch this show on the WWE Network.] 


Match 1
Mike Rotundo & Johnny Weaver d. Masa Fuchi & Red Dog Lane

Paul Jones joins Bob Caudle on commentary, as this match is underway as the show starts. Stu Schwartz is the referee for the hour. Nothing spectacular. Rotundo pins Fuchi after an airplane spin.

[Break]

[TAPE] Int. w/David Crockett: Dick Slater & Greg Valentine
We’re on the World Wide set. Crockett says the NWA is warning the two regarding their behavior. Valentine says this is professional wrestling. It is his job to hurt people. Slater chimes in with some comments. 

[FILM] Charlotte: We now go to a clip of Flair vs. Valentine, with Crockett & Caudle voicing over the clip. Just a few minutes, of Valentine working head locks on Flair.

[TAPE] Charlotte: We jump now to a bloodied Ric Flair with a mic in the locker room. Flair wants Valentine again, he wants his title to be on the line too. When he gets hold of Valentine, whoo, he will be his all night long!

[Break]

Match 2
Non-Title: Roddy Piper [U.S. Champion] d. Ben Alexander

Piper doing some wrestling in this contest. He wins with the swinging neckbreaker.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Roddy Piper
Brief interview. Says when Valentine & Slater talk about going after him, they are just shooting blanks.

[CLIP][FLORIDA TV]: Jake Roberts vs. Barry Windham
Caudle then throws to a clip from Championship Wrestling from Florida, Roberts vs. Windham. No date given on the match. Gordon Solie & Magnum T.A. are on commentary. Jake slingshots Windham’s neck over the top ropes, then a high knee, but only a two count. The bell rings indicating a time limit draw. Roberts goes to the TV desk to complain to Solie. It looks like he loads his knee pad, and unloads on Windham on the outside. Windham crashes through the wooden partition.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle:  Mike Rotundo
Rotundo comments on the video that just played. He wants Roberts and feels he can beat him. Rotundo says he doesn’t like Paul Jones.

-Halftime Int. w/Bob Caudle:  Mike Rotundo
This is in lieu of local promos. Back to back Rotundo. Repeats many of the same talking points that we just saw.

[Break]

- Int.: Humperdink says he’s purchased this time. They are on the World Wide set. Humperdink says Kelly Kiniski has joined the House of Humperdink. He talks about OMG beating on Andre, and the $5,000 slam challenge is still in effect.

Match 3
Rufus R. Jones vs. Bill White
Paul Jones is on commentary. Jones says Rufus is a changed man. Paul continues to tout Jake Roberts ansd mentions Mike graham is coming in from Florida to avenge the beating Windham took from Roberts.
Paul says if Rufus wants the Mid-Atlantic belt, he has to go through Dory Funk, Jr. Lots of dancing while wrestling for Rufus. Lots of trash talk by Paul on Rufus. Rufus wins with a headbutt.

[Break]

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco
Caudle mentions they had a controversial match. Jack disagrees. We go to a tape. 

[TAPE] World Wide: Steamboat/Youngblood vs. Briscos (Brief)
This is the famous match from World Wide, where Jerry had a figure four on Steamboat. Youngblood chops Jack, who lands on Steamboat’s legs. Steamboat joins the interview, as Jerry explains it was just an accident. Steamboat says he doesn’t think it was deliberate, but doesn’t think it was an accident either. Jack says let’s prove it next week. Steamboat agrees.

[Break]

Match 4
Jos LeDuc d. Snake Brown

Brown gets some offense in, before LeDuc responds. A longer match than expected. LeDuc wins with the backbreaker.

[Break]

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Gary Hart, Great Kabuki, Magic Dragon
Hart says his team should be number-one contenders for the tag team championship. Hart insists on a tournament to determine the top contenders. He gets a dig in at Jimmy Valiant as well.

[Break]

Match 5
Great Kabuki & Magic Dragon d. Vinnie Valentino & Ron Rossi

Hart joins Caudle on commentary. Valentino briefly puts up a fight after a one-sided affair. Dragon pins Rossi after the Macau Roll, a forward somersault splash. After the match, he team joins Bob Caudle throwing out challenges.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Sgt. Slaughter
Slaughter is carrying one of the World tag team championship belts. Slaughter welcomes a top contender’s tournament. He taunts Steamboat & Youngblood and the Briscos, saying if they were men they would have the belt around their waists. He talks about an upcoming cage match, where the losing team has to split up. Steamboat then jumps Slaughter from behind. A short, intense brawl, as Steamboat is trying to wrestle belt away. The tussle continues in the ring, as the credits roll.  With a big right hand, it looks like Slaughter wins the battle. He escapes as the show goes off the air.


* * * * *

Results for the week, 4/25/83-5/01/83
(source: Clawmaster’s Archive via Sports and Wrestling blog posted by David Baker; “Wrestling” newsletter by Joe Shedlock)

Mon., 4/25/83 Greenville, SC; Memorial Auditorium
Vinnie Valentino beat Masa Fuchi
Johnny Weaver beat Ricky Harris
Jake Roberts beat Sweet Brown Sugar
Jack & Jerry Brisco beat Great Kabuki & Magic Dragon
Roddy Piper beat Greg Valentine in a no DQ match
NWA World Champion Ric Flair beat Dick Slater by DQ

Mon., 4/25/83 Elizabethton, NC
Jay Youngblood, Jimmy Valiant & Bugsy McGraw beat One Man Gang, Don Kernodle & Oliver Humperdink
Mike Rotundo beat Bill White
Mike Rotundo beat Larry Lane
Pvt. Nelson beat Ken Timbs

Tue., 4/26/83 Columbia, SC; Township Auditorium
Ricky Harris d. Vinnie Valentino
Keith Larsen d. Ken Timbs
Jos LeDuc d. Red Dog Lane
Andre the Giant & Roddy Piper & Bugsy McGraw d. Greg Valentine & One Man Gang & Sir Oliver Humperdink
Ric Flair DCO Jimmy Valiant

Roddy Piper, Jos Leduc & Bugsy McGraw beat Greg Valentine, One Man Gang & Oliver Humperdink
NWA World Champion Ric Flair no contest with Jimmy Valiant

Wed., 4/27/83 Charlotte, NC(TV)
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling:
Johnny Weaver & Mike Rotundo beat Masa Fuchi & Larry Lane
Roddy Piper beat Ben Alexander
Rufus R. Jones beat Bill White
Jos LeDuc beat Snake Brown
Magic Dragon & Great Kabuki beat Vinnie Valentino & Ron Rossi
World Wide Wrestling:
Johnny Weaver & Mike Rotundo beat Ben Alexander & Snake Brown
Rufus R. Jones beat Masa Fuchi
Roddy Piper beat Larry Lane
Jack & Jerry Brisco beat Gene Anderson & Bill White
Magic Dragon & Great Kabuki beat Jim Nelson & Keith Larson

Wed., 4/27/83 Sumter, SC
NWA World Champion Ric Flair vs. Dick Slater
Andre The Giant, Bugsy McGraw & Jimmy Valiant vs. Jake Roberts, One Man Gang & Oliver Humperdink
Sweet Brown Sugar vs. Ricky Harris
Ken Timbs vs. Mike Davis

Thu., 4/28/83 Norfolk, VA
NWA Champion Ric Flair beat Dick Slater
Jimmy Valiant beat Great Kabuki
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco beat Jake Roberts & Magic Dragon
Bugsy McGraw beat One Man Gang
Jos Leduc beat Bill White
Gene Anderson beat Sweet Brown Sugar
Ricky Harris beat Mark Fleming
Keith Larsen beat Massa Fuchi 

Fri., 4/29/83 Wilmington, NC; Legion Stadium
Wayne Jones vs. Masa Fuchi
Mike Davis vs. Keith Larson
Johnny Weaver vs. Ricky Harris
Sweet Brown Sugar vs. Red Dog Lane
Jack Brisco & Gerald Brisco vs. Kabuki & Magic Dragon
World tag team title/cage match: Rick Steamboat & Jay Youngblood [ch.] vs. Sgt. Slaughter & Don Kerndole

Fri., 4/29/83 Charleston SC
Jos Leduc beat Dick Slater
Jimmy Valiant, Bugsy McGraw & Mike Rotundo beat One Man Gang, Jake Roberts & Oliver Humperdink
Jim Nelson beat Bill White
Vinnie Valentino beat Ken Timbs

Sat., 4/30/83 Richmond, VA
Mike Rotundo beat Bill White
Rufus R. Jones beat Ricky Harris
Bugsy McGraw beat One Man Gang
Jake Roberts beat Mike Graham
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco beat Gene Anderson & Angelo Mosca
Jos LeDuc beat Dick Slater to win NWA TV title in a lumberjack match
Jimmy Valiant beat Great Kabuki in a New York street fight
Roddy Piper beat Greg Valentine
Cage match/loser leaves town: Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Sgt Slaughter & Don Kernodle

Sun., 5/01/83 Greensboro, NC; Greensboro Coliseum
Keith Larson beat Ken Timbs
Jos LeDuc beat Ricky Harris
Bugsy McGraw beat One Man Gang
Jake Roberts beat Mike Graham
Dick Slater beat Sweet Brown Sugar
Jack & Jerry Brisco beat Angelo Mosca & Gene Anderson
Jimmy Valiant beat Great Kabuki in a New York street fight
Greg Valentine beat Roddy Piper to win United States Title
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Sgt. Slaughter & Don Kernodle

Monday, January 11, 2021

Studio Wrestling: 1976 Weather Promo Has 5 Wrestling Connections


by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway
Originally published on Studio Wrestling

WRAL produced a series of satirical promotional spots in early 1976 to announce Bob DeBardelaben as the primary weather host on WRAL newscasts, replacing Bob Caudle who was moving into other responsibilities at WRAL working for Jesse Helms (and continuing his hosting duties of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, of course.)

Brian Rogers recently discovered a compilation of those promotional clips on You Tube. I pulled them off YouTube and edited them down to one single storyline clip and re-posted them.

The immediate interest was of course that Bob Caudle was featured, and there was also a cameo by Blackjack Mulligan in the wrestling ring at WRAL. It was cool that the video featured these two direct wrestling connections, and also a third, since it was the voice of Bob Debardelaben you heard at each of the two breaks for the local wrestling promotional spots during "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" and "Wide World Wrestling":

"Let's take time for this commercial message about the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling events coming up in your area."

A day or so after posting the video clip, Carroll Hall (who publishes the excellent "All Star Championship Wrestling" blog) pointed out to me that there was a fourth wrestling connection in the video I had failed to notice: sportscaster Nick Pond. Pond was host of the Raleigh-only wrestling broadcast "Championship Wrestling" on WRAL throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. 

After writing up that information and watching the video yet again, I suddenly noticed what I thought was the familiar face of Raleigh area promoter Joe Murnick in one short scene where the president of the station is seen at his desk. Mr. Murnick is seen sitting on the couch behind him. I asked Elliot Murnick and he confirmed it was indeed his father. (Elliot also confirmed that the "president" in the video is indeed longtime President and CEO of Capitol broadcasting Jim Goodmon.)

That makes a total of five people in this short video that had direct connections to Mid-Atlantic Wrestling at WRAL-TV:



Bob Caudle
Bob hosted Jim Crockett Promotions' syndicated All Star Wrestling in the 1960s that later became Mid-Atlantic Wrestling in the 1970s and 1980s. He did weather, sports, and news at various times throughout his WRAL career, and worked for Jesse Helms at the station as well. He is seen here receiving the keys to the "executive washroom" after being promoted at WRAL.




Bob DeBardelaben
"The Biggest Name in Weather", DeBardelaben succeeded Bob Caudle as the primary weather host (known then as 'weathermen') in 1976. The promotional spots featured here served to announce and promote that. DeBardelaben is the main star of the vignettes.




Nick Pond
Nick Pond hosted the Raleigh-only broadcast of Championship Wrestling (taped simultaneously alongside Caudle's All Star Wrestling) throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. He was the main sports anchor for WRAL at the time of these promotional spots, and is seen in the video joining others in welcoming DeBardelaben to the team.




Joe Murnick
Murnick was the local promoter for Jim Crockett Promotions in Raleigh (as well as other towns in eastern NC and Virginia.) He ran his own events promotion company as well, staging concerts and other events in addition to wrestling almost every Tuesday night at the Dorton Arena or the Raleigh Civic Center. He is seen here in one scene (at the :59 second mark) sitting on a couch behind the president of the station, Jim Goodmon.




Blackjack Mulligan
One of the main event wrestlers for Jim Crockett and Joe Murnick during this time period, Mulligan was chasing the United States Heavyweight wrestling championship held by Paul Jones. (He would win the title for the first time on March 13 in Greensboro.) He has a cameo role here answering the question "Will Bob (DeBardelaben) quit?" Mully leans through the ropes of the wrestling ring in the TV studio and says "He better not!"

Originally published in February of 2013 on Studio Wrestling,
part of the Mid-Atlantic Gateway family of websites.


Thanks to Brian Rogers, Carroll Hall, and Elliot Murnick.
Link to original unedited WRAL promos: WRAL-TV: "As The Weather Turns" Promos (1976)

Saturday, January 09, 2021

Father and Fighter: Roddy Piper Delivers the Ultimate Babyface Promo

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway


"You take a look at me, man. I'm just like James Dean, the only difference is the wrapping is a little different, jack."  - Roddy Piper


On the April 23, 1983 episode of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, the show's first interview is with the new United States Heavyweight Champion Roddy Piper, who has the belt and speaks with show host Bob Caudle. 

Piper had just a week earlier defeated Greg Valentine in Greensboro for the title. It was his second time around holding the belt, the area's most prestigious championship. Valentine was stinging from the loss, promising Piper he would make him the shortest lived U.S. champion ever, and hurt him in the process.

Piper gave the ultimate rebuttal. If you were to look up "perfect babyface interview" in a online digital dictionary, this interview would be the example used to illustrate it. Piper just nails it on every level. He is humble and happy, funny yet serious, but most of all he is real. Not only was Piper celebrating his win over Valentine, he was celebrating some personal landmarks in his life outside of the ring, and he expertly wove them into his interview with Caudle. These were real events and not part of the wrestling storyline, but like so many of the wrestlers of that era, he used part of his real life and his real personality to augment his work. The result was one of the strongest babyface promos you'll ever see.

"I had a week you wouldn't believe, man," Piper told Caudle with a big grin on his face. "On April the 15th you see, I won the United States Heavyweight Championship from Greg Valentine in Greensboro. On April the 17th, I had a birthday." Then looking over at the TV studio audience in attendance, he said, "And on April the 19th I became the father of a 7.9 pound baby girl!"

The crowd exploded with cheers, like it was someone in their family that had just given them this great news. There was this sudden and organic moment of bonding with the fans as Piper grinned ear to ear looking over Bob Caudle's shoulder at them seated on the bleachers in the cramped studio. "That's not a bad week, huh?" he giggled, "Not a bad week at all."

Piper had just connected with his audience in a way few babyfaces could. It was real. And it set the stage for what was next. Piper wasn't grinning anymore; he became deadly serious, and it was his delivery during all of this that added the proper emphasis.

"You see, I got a whole change of thought happening here, Valentine, I'm probably meaner now than I've been in my whole life," Piper said, looking down at the floor. "Because you see, when I first started to fight, I used to fight to feed myself, and it was positively I should win." Piper then looked straight into the camera. "And now it's kind of a necessity, you see, because I'm fighting for others now."

This wasn't someone pretending to be a babyface, this was a real babyface, a guy ready to man up and fight for his family, become a provider, a father, and likely a better husband. Then Piper brings it back around, stepping away from hearth and home, and gets back to the business of selling tickets. 

"I'm fighting for others now, and if you want to beat me Valentine, you're going to have to kill me for this belt." 

Wrestling's James Dean left the interview position shortly after, clearly a man on a mission to defend his title and to take care of his family. 

Valentine, however, made good on his earlier promises to Piper. Just a little over one week later on May 1, back in the ring in Greensboro, Valentine regained the championship, badly injuring Piper's ear in the process. But the people were behind their hero. And now the chase was on.

That angle would serve as the beginning of what Piper would call "the year of the ear" and would lead to climactic dog-collar match seven months later on Thanksgiving night as part of the very first Starrcade. But it was this interview by Piper that first gave the whole program with Valentine a sense of realism and consequence on a level not always achieved in a pro-wrestling storyline. 

You can watch this interview on the 4/23/83 episode of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling on the WWE Network. It takes place at the 4:27 mark of the show

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For you title history buffs out there, Piper mentions in this interview that he defeated Greg Valentine for the U.S. title on April 15, but it was actually Saturday April 16, 1983.